Queensland, the second-largest state by territory in Australia, separated from New South Wales back in 1859. With the world-famous Great Barrier Reef located off the east coast stretching for approximately 2,000km and 5 of Australia’s 11 existing natural World Heritage areas (the Riversleigh Fossil Fields, the Daintree National Park, the Scenic Rim National Parks, Fraser Island, and the Great Barrier Reef), Queensland is not only a tourist’s paradise but also the fastest growing state, by population in the country.
And it’s not hard to appreciate why. Nicknamed “the Sunshine State” for it’s glorious weather – receiving on average 261 days of sun each year – a glorious coast line, over 200 national parks, excellent transport gateways to the rest of the nation and overseas with three international airports (Brisbane, Gold Coast and Cairns), and catering those who want a cosmopolitan lifestyle to those preferring a tropical experience, it’s not surprising of Queensland’s allure.
Queenslanders are often nicknamed “Banana Benders” due to the large number of tropical areas of the state where bananas are grown, but in fact the Top 3 population areas of Queensland are Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, offer greater diversity than this somewhat outdated stereotype of Queensland suggests.
Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city and fastest growing economy, and was named after a former Governor of New South Wales, Sir Thomas Brisbane. Known to the early Aboriginal people as Mian-jin, meaning “place shaped like a spike”, but affectionately known now as “Bris-Vegas” some lesser known facts include it being home to the busiest submarine base during Word War 2; the birthplace of the popular lamington cake in 1900; it has the largest city hall in Australia; it was named the Lonely Planet’s Hippest Australian City last year; and its famous Queens Street Mall shopping precinct was originally a convict barracks. What is well known, however, is that with it’s great nightlife, cosmopolitan restaurants and cafes, and great outdoor living, there are plenty of great housing options to see – check out houses for sale in Brisbane, Lend Lease has properties to fit any lifestyle, for those looking for a city to live that has it all.
The Gold Coast
Located in Queensland’s south-east under an hour from Brisbane and serviced by two international airports, the Gold Coast is Australia’s playground of entertainment and adventure but like Brisbane, is also one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Australia’s indigenous people walked the land over 6,000 years ago with European’s first laying foundations in the 1860s. As residents of Brisbane were lured to the Gold Coast for the leisurely opportunity to bathe in the ocean, the location really began to thrive with the birth of Australia’s beach-going culture. Today, with both a wide array of themed attractions, the tallest residential building in the southern hemisphere, home to more than 100,000 ha of nature reserves and World Heritage sites, and set to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the Gold Coast has it all as well.
Approximately 100km north of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast is a hugely popular tourist destination but at a slightly calmer pace than that of the Gold Coast. First sighted by Captain Cook in 1770 and home to the famous “Dicky Beach” where Australia’s surf-culture began the Sunshine Coast extends up to Rainbow Beach, named for its distinctive multicoloured sand dunes. Surrounded by lush rainforests, pristine beaches and beautiful hinterland areas and famous for its great variety of delicious local fresh fish and seafood, this fast growing region of Australia is already home to over 350,000 people.
Queensland is an exciting place to live, whether in one of the three largest cities mentioned above, or Cairns, Tawoomba, Port Douglas or the many others, with such great weather, nature and a burgeoning economy, there’s something in Queensland for everyone.